Shooting Iwo Jima

300px-WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raising Joe Rosenthal & AP

Just saw an interesting program on Netflix. Just about everyone has heard of Joe Rosenthal and his iconic B & W photo of the flag-raising on Mt Suribachi .

It got him a Pulitzer prize and world-wide fame.  Less known about that was that it was actually the 2nd flag to go up there. I read the book Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley some years ago, that gave an excellent account of both Iwo and the Rosenthal photo.

How many of you have heard of Bill Genaust?

I hadn’t. He was a Marine combat photographer who shot color film with a 16mm movie camera on Saipan and Iwo. He was right by Joe Rosenthal and he shot this video of the flag raising.

So why is Rosenthal so well known and Genaust anonymous?

Ten Days.

The film of combat still photographers was sent to Guam for developing. When Rosenthal’s iconic photo image  was appearing in the solution, people immediately knew the power of that photograph. The country knew about it a day or so later. Roosevelt used it to help in his bond drives.

Movie film was sent to Hawaii for developing. Ten days later the movie was developed, but the still had already electrified the country.

Nine days after Bill shot this video, he was killed…

For those of you who don’t stream on Netflix, YouTube has the program.

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